Book Review: Black Rust: Artwork – Author Chad Michael Ward

BLACK RUST
Artwork by Chad Michael Ward
Written by Chad Michael Ward
Published by NBM Publishing
Publication Date: 2003
Format: Full Color 96 pages
Price: $19.95

A fine collection of dark visual tales, experimentation and continuity. Chad Michael Ward’s first book and my particular favorite of his 3. As each release slightly differs in themes and approaches, it was this one that was closest to my style of interest. Without harm or foul the collection has a strong Ashley Wood style presentation, though with more emphasis on the photographic stylings than hand paintings. Chad delivers a portfolio showcase of earth tones, watercolor overlays, textures, grunge and composition dissections. It also bears a striking cover.

The emphasis is more on watercolors than acrylics as we are introduced to Chad’s digital manifestations. I think by nature, the images fall into dark illustration due to there combination of mixed media’s, however I wouldn’t call the collection Horror. It does have some images that lean towards horror, but the sense I got was more focus on asian, machines and erotic fantasy. The erotic is apparent with several nudes both frontal and full frontal, however the translations are pushed into moderness and sci fi.

It’s clear that more chances on diversity in mixed media were taken. Photography is shown but blurred for mystery. Some images are hand cut and repainted over, while others are given theme-suggestion thru props and model appearance. The book has full bleeds through-out which I prefer to the cropped versions. There also seems to be a higher motivation for interesting framing which textures the compositions nicely. It’s interesting as you’d “expect”more creatures and monsters – but instead we are introduced to a variety of model talent and tattooed vixens.

Regardless of rhyme or reason this is a nice art book for dark enthusiasts. It is clear that Chad has spent many the day refining and tweaking these dark angels till they sang on paper the way he sees them in his head. Black Rust flows from page to page with digital grace and darkened vocabulary – pick one up today at NBM Publications.

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